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CBI takes over Ruchika probe
Published on 11 Jan. 2010 9:44 PM IST
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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday took over the probe against former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore, convicted of molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra in 1990, for abetting her suicide and harassing her family members, including her brother who was framed for theft. The agency has re-registered the cases against Rathore in the Special Crime Zone of the agency here. “We have re-registered three cases relating to Ruchika Girhotra today (Monday) after the central government gave its consent under section 5 of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE) on the request from Haryana government,” a CBI spokesman said here. According to CBI, cases were registered against Rathore, the then Panchkula superintendent of police K.P. Singh, the then sub inspector Prem Dutt and two then assistant sub-inspectors Jai Narayan and Sewa Singh under various sections of Indian Penal Code including abetment to suicide, attempt to murder and wrongful confinement. These three cases were earlier registered at the Sector 5 police station in Haryana’s Panchkula. The Superintendent of police, special crime unit-1 of CBI has been appointed as the chief investigating officer in all the three cases. “He will be assisted by a team of legal experts and investigating officers. We appeal to all persons in the know of the facts and circumstances of these cases and to those who are willing to give evidence in the court that they should contact the chief investigating officer,” the spokesman added. Rathore was booked by the Panchkula police Dec 29 in two different cases, charging him with attempt to murder, forging and tampering with evidence, criminal conspiracy and wrongful confinement. Most of the charges slapped against him in both First Information Reports (FIRs) are non-bailable ones. The complaints for the two FIRs were made by Ruchika’s father S.C. Girhotra and brother Ashu. In the third case Jan 5, Rathore was booked for abetment to suicide. Ruchika, a budding tennis player, was molested by Rathore, then an inspector general of police, in Panchkula Aug 12, 1990 and committed suicide three years later. The molestation case was then handed over to CBI. Nineteen years after the molestation incident, Rathore was convicted by a CBI special court in Chandigarh Dec 21 and sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.1,000. The light conviction led to uproar in different sections of society, forcing authorities to re-visit the case and seek justice for the molestation victim. This is the second time the CBI would be probing the matter. New controversy A new controversy has emerged in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case involving former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore, with a ‘mystery’ woman, Veena, claiming that she was married to Ruchika’s father, S.C. Girhotra. The claim has been dismissed by the lawyer and friends of the Girhotra family. Veena has told the special investigation team (SIT) of the Haryana police that she was married to Ruchika’s father, S.C. Girhotra, between November 1990 and 1995. SIT sources said that Veena, who is now married to another person and lives in Sector 10 here, had told them during questioning that she was married to Girhotra in November 1990, just three months after Ruchika’s molestation by Rathore here Aug 12, 1990, and separated from him in 1995. Ruchika had committed suicide Dec 28, 1993 three years after the molestation incident. But the fresh development about Veena coming on to the scene after many years was quickly dismissed by Anand Prakash, father of Ruchika’s friend Aradhana who has been fighting the case against Rathore for over 19 years, and by Pankaj Bhardwaj, the victim’s lawyer. “As far as I know, Girhotra was never married to Veena. This character has been brought into this case by Rathore. I don’t know under what pressure or allurement she is saying all this. If she was his (Girhotra’s) wife, she should come out with proof of the marriage or their divorce,” Anand Prakash said. Pankaj Bhardwaj said: “Her coming on the scene and claiming that she was married to Girhotra will not impact the case, particularly the charge of abetment to suicide against Rathore.” Girhotra had all along claimed that he was never married to Veena. He claimed that she was a governess in his house. However, his statement before a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at Patiala and another statement to a Haryana police deputy inspector general of police (DIG) earlier had said that he was married to Veena. Veena had signed the police inquest report into Ruchika’s death in 1993 as ‘Veena Girhotra’. Rathore’s counsel and wife Abha Rathore had told a court here, while seeking anticipatory bail for him, that Girhotra was making false charges against Rathore and was hiding facts about his marriage to Veena. SIT chief S.S. Kapoor told IANS that the Girhotra family was not cooperating with the SIT investigations into the fresh cases against Rathore. “We sent many notices and reminders to Ruchika’s father S.C. Girhotra and her brother Ashu but they have neither approached us nor tried to come to our office till date,” Kapoor, Haryana’s inspector general (security), who heads this seven-member SIT, told IANS. He added: “We have recorded and examined the statements of all other important witnesses pertaining to this case.” The SIT Saturday made the first arrest in the case when it nabbed Gajendra Singh, a car-thief and proclaimed offender, from Pune. Singh had named Ashu as an accomplice in car theft cases between 1990-93 which the Girhotra family said was done under pressure from Rathore. It was the harassment and torture inflicted on Ashu, Ruchika’s younger brother, to pressurize the Girhotra family to withdraw the molestation case that compelled Ruchika to commit suicide in December 1993. A CBI court in Chandigarh had Dec 21 held Rathore guilty of molesting 15-year-old Ruchika in Panchkula Aug 12, 1990 and sentenced him to a six-month prison term. Rathore was immediately granted bail.

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